How to shop for audio

I'd like to hear some advice regarding shopping for audio.

I own a pair of Eidolon Diamonds and wish to upgrade my electronics which are currently the Goldmund entry line gear. And I need to improve my cables.

But what to do? How to decide? Do I travel to Massachusetts to visit and listen at Goodwin’s or Overture in Philadelphia to hear a variety of electronics, etc. in environments I’m not accustomed to? These are theclosest stores I know of with significant inventory.

This is a lot of travel expense and hassle, but is it what I have to do? Plus, for me, it takes time to evaluate my likings. How can I decide in one visit? I’ve been to Atlanta, the closest big city reasonably nearby, for thorough shopping. Not much there.

The media is suspect. Like why is there never any Spectral, little Rowland, etc.? I doubt if it’s because their equipment isn’t “worthy”. I don’t see the mags virtually ever mentioning this fact

The media is little assistance, though I like looking at the shiny pictures.

What about just buying/testing through multiple AudiogoN buys? And try not to take much of a loss in the process.

And can you provide one more opinion regarding this:
I want solid state. I’ve been through tube hassle enough, and I’m a solid state man. If I want hassle, I’ll endure it via my phono system. Yet, on AudiogoN, especially among people with Eidolons, tubes seem to reign.

What the heck do I do about that? Can I ignore it like the media?

Be glad to hear your counsel.

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Hi Shaq, you did the right thing by asking here in this forum. Local dealers are the best. A good local dealer knows what type of cables and electronics work well with your speakers.

I bet you that a bunch of guys or gals that own Avalon speakers, will share with you their opinions very soon. Happy listening
Well, since you can afford the Eidolon Diamonds, I assume money is not too tight for you.
I suggest you do exactly as you stated:
"What about just buying/testing through multiple Audiogon buys? And try not to take much of a loss in the process."

That is what a lot of us do. It provides us with a opportunity to listen for extended periods, (for very little lost, except for shipping), and if you do your research both through the magazines, but here as well as on AudioAsylum, you'll get a pretty good idea of how well the product sounds, so you can put together a fairly small short-list of equipment that should work well with your system.
(FYI, virtually every product will get one, or two, mediocre reviews either here, and/or on AudioAsylum, so don't get too concerned if your favorite short-listed piece of equipment is not raved about by everyone!)

Plus this is a hobby, so trying out different pieces of equipment, (that is until you find just the right one!), is just part of the hobby.

If I can make some recommendations though:

1. The Eidolons (particularly the diamonds) are really great speakers, and the better your equipment is, the better the music will sound. (The sky is the limit with them.) Conversely, if you feed them only average signals, you'll only get average sound out at the end.

2. My friend has the Eidolons, (the regular version), and he discovered, and I agree, that feeding the Eidolons plenty of power is the way to go. (Which for you is okay, since you are not looking towards tubes anyway!)

(FYI: He currently is using the Lamm M2.2 hybrid monoblock amplifiers (220 wpc), and they sound great. (In fact, they sounded so great, that I found a pair of (used) Lamm M2.1s for my Revel Studios, and they sound great with them too!))

3. Don't cheap out using mediocre cables either. The Eidolons will sound only as good as the weakest link. He is using Nordost Valhallas (XLRs) for both his preamp to amp link, as well as for his speaker cables.

Good luck, and have fun searching!
There are a couple of things that come to my mind....... You might try going to one of the good audio shows (sounds like RMAF is the best). You can hear and see lot's of new stuff at one time this way.

Find a good dealer who's opinion you trust (I think this is probably the best bet). I am lucky and live in Austin, TX and have 3-4 to choose from. I have become pretty good friends with at least one of them and I trust his ears/judgement.

Try to join an audio club, or make some friends who have systems you can get to know; hear new things. The more "different" systems I hear the easier it is to hone in on what I would like to do with my own system............ It wasn't until I heard a buddy's horn set-up that I realized I wanted to pursue low power and horns myself.

On the tube thing..... I cannot imagine tham not in my system. That realization came after listening to many "other" systems and realizing that the one's that floated my boat were all tube based.

Hope this helps a little

Try a pair of 7B SST from Bryston on audiogon....with the twenty year warranty they keep their resale value...
I second the advice above. Also, a couple of suggestions or questions, given that your spkrs are wearing that expensive 100kHz hard ceramic tweet:

1) If you like yr present Goldmund, then higher powered amps (and perhaps a better performing pre) would be indicated. The Goldmund is wide-bandwidth design.
2) Similarly wide-bandwidth: Spectral. You could try that out.

3) If you use wide-bandwidth electronics you MUST guard against RFI or a spurious signal enetering the system is likely to take those tweets away.
OTOH, wide-bandwidth will exploit that tweet's response linearity that extends over 20kHz.

4) Tubes: maybe. BUT, you need excessive power (~100W) for those spkrs, and you need to play quite loud -- otherwise they sound shrill. OR you go for an OTL -- hardly the cheapest products around!